Check Your Soul heads a full field of 17 thoroughbreds today as the 3-1 morning line favorite in the 152nd running of the $1 million Queen’s Plate Stakes at Woodbine racetrack.
The Queen’s Plate is Canada's oldest horse race and the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown which is followed by the Prince Of Wales Stakes and Breeder’s Stakes. A win by Check Your Soul would give trainer Roger Attfield a record nine wins in the Canadian Classic.
Since breaking his maiden at Keeneland in April, Check Your Soul has won three in a row and looks to be the solid favorite. His win in the Plate Trial was especially impressive when he took the lead at the top of the stretch and pulled away to win by 3¼-lengths over runner-up Bowman’s Causeway and third-place finisher Strike Oil, another 2½-lengths back, who are both entered in the Queen’s Plate.
Check Your Soul is a descendant of the Northern Dancer sire line and since 1990 that line has dominated the Queen’s Plate producing nine winners.
Perfect Soul, the sire of Check Your Soul, was a champion turf horse in Canada and the sire of Canadian Classic Champion Thoroughbred Perfect Shower – winner of the 2009 Breeders’ Stakes. The grandsire of Check Your Soul is the Classic Champion Thoroughbred and internationally important sire Sadler’s Wells. And the great grandsire of Check Your Soul is Northern Dancer who won the 1964 Queen’s Plate Stakes, Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1).
On the distaff side of the pedigree, 1990 Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled is the damsire of Check Your Soul.
So, I like the breeding and the past performances make Check Your Soul my top pick.
Queensplatekitten, the 7-2 morning line second choice and Inglorious, the 9-2 third choice, both appear to be tough in this race and should be considered in the wagering.
If you throw out the Bluegrass Stakes (G1), Queensplatekitten has never finished worse than second and overall his record is 3-2-0 in six starts. The same goes for Inglorious whose only off-the-board finish came in the Fair Ground Oaks (G2) at the Fair Grounds in March. Overall, Inglorious is 4-1-0 in six starts and a bullet work out June 16 indicates that she is ready to run a good race.
A long shot I like is Maple Leaf Kitten (50-1).
Maple Leaf Kitten struggled as 2-year-old but seems to be quickly improving as a 3-year-old and at 50-1 he is worth a play in the exacta and trifecta with Check Your Soul and Inglorious. Whether he is improved enough to be a factor in the Queen’s Plate remains to be seen but he has the breeding to perform much better than his past performances would indicate.
Kitten’s Joy, the sire of Maple Leaf Kitten, was a multiple Grade 1 winner and the 2004 Eclipse Champion Turf Horse who was competitive racing from 9- to 12-furlongs. The sire line of Maple Leaf Kitten is the same Sadler’s Wells, Northern Dancer line as Check Your Soul.
E Dubai, the damsire of Maple Leaf Kitten, won the 10-furlong Suburban Handicap (G2) and finished second in the 10-furlong Travers Stakes (G1) and Super Derby (G1).
Unbridled, the sire of the second dam Miss Lulu, won the 1990 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Private Account, the sire of the third dam Ms. Margi, also sired the undefeated multiple Grade 1 winner Personal Ensign. Tom Rolfe, the sire of the fourth dam Trestle, won the 1965 Preakness Stakes (G1).
Good luck with your Queen's Plate picks.